Lincoln’’s doings December 6, 1859
With the speech of Monday afternoon, December 5, Mr. Lincoln closed his public efforts in Kansas, but remained over the next day to witness the election, and obtain all the latest reports. The three counties in which he had appeared were Doniphan, Atchison
December TUESDAY 6 1859
At Home —- very cold
day, Thermometer 5 or 10
below zero. —-
—- moved my office
from Shawnee Street to
S.E. Cor. Deleware & 2nd
Sts. with Esq. S.B. Williams
—- Quite a Row at the
Polls of 1st Ward in the
Evening. considerable confusion
—- This is the Sixth election
since I came to the
city 2 RR 1 constitution
1 Municipal 1 Territorial
The territorial election was held the next day and Mr. Lincoln remained in Kansas as an
In 1856 Mr. Wollman erected a fine residence near the corner of Fifth & Cherokee, west
In 1856 Jonas purchased land on Cherokee Street between Fifth and Sixth, where he built the family home. For his business, he rented property on Cherokee between Second and Third. In 1858, he built on Delaware Street (between Second and Third) the city’s first three-story brick building. Early Leavenworth city directories listed Jonas as a pawnbroker, but from 1862 on he was described as a clothier.
As business changed, he changed his base of operations and removed to Delaware Street, corner of Fourth, and from there to the corner of Fifth, where he is now located.
All this goes far to explain why Lincoln, who so vigorously opposed the spread of slavery into Kansas, sat down to dinner with the Wollmans on his visit to Leavenworth. Some sources claim that he dined with them and another local Jewish merchant family, Simon and Amalia Abeles, at the Delahay home. Others insist that it was the Wollmans themselves who hosted the dinner for Lincoln. Family lore holds that Betty Wollman was deeply impressed with Lincoln and predicted, when he departed, that someday the “great Man” would “be President of the United States.” It likewise recalls that Lincoln cradled the Wollmans’ sixteen-month-old son, Henry, in his arms.
The traceable history of the Wollman family commences with Jonas
Wollman (March 3, 1824-October 9, 1905), a Jewish merchant hailing from
Kempen, Germany, who arrived in New York on July 1, 1851. Moving to St.
Louis, he married Betty Kohn (1836/1838-1927), the daughter of Jewish
immigrants from Bohemia. They settled in Leavenworth in 1855 when Kansas
was convulsed by clashes between abolitionists and slavery advocates. (The
citizen in 1858, Jonas built the city’s first three-story brick building on Delaware
prominent citizen in Leavenworth (Abraham Lincoln had dinner at his home in
1859). He served in the Kansas State Militia during the Civil
the city’s first Reform congregation where he served as its vice president. Retiring
in 1888, Jonas moved to Kansas City and purchased a house at 720 West 11th
Street. Following his death in 1905, Betty moved to New York and resided in a
after retirement) until her death on December 25, 1927.
Jonas and Betty had eight children who had distinguished lives: Rosa (July
17, 1856- November 30, 1912) married Albert Hess, the president of the Wichita
Wholesale Grocery Company; Henry (August 9, 1858- March 13, 1936), the first
president of the Kansas Lodge of the Free Sons of
served as the U.S. Commissioner for Missouri and on the Jackson County Circuit
Court; Morton (January 1, 1863- July 11, 1924) worked as a management
assistant for his brother William’s firm; Etta (June 15, 1865-December 2, 1933)
28, 1867- March 27, 1937) was a
(December 5, 1869- October 15, 1955) helped launch H & R Block and donated
funds for the Wollman Memorial Rink in 1950, then the largest outdoor skating
brother Henry’s law firm and participated in the organization of Standard Oil’s
Kansas branch; and Lillian (April 6/18 1875-May 6, 1895) died of unknown
causes at the age of 20.